Map Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR

We’ve been receiving lots of requests for advice on personal statements – so here is our best advice! One of our Consultants, Poppy, wrote an excellent blog on this earlier this month – find it here – but we’ve put together some top tips for those of you who want a speedy recap.

  • Structure: once you’ve written your first draft, make sure you have a really clear structure to your personal statement. It’s important to group your thoughts and interests into clear, themed paragraphs in order to show the tutors why they should choose you. Make sure you have a plan of what you want to address and where – key topics include why you want to study your subject, what you have achieved which shows your passion for the subject, and why they should choose you. Extra-curricular activities can be included, but academic strength should make up the larger part of your personal statement.
  • Evidence: use some strong examples to back up what you have achieved – tutors will want to see evidence of your academic strength in your chosen subject. Make sure you are honest; there is little point in writing examples which are stretching the truth, or saying you are interested in that core textbook without having read it: tutors will pick up on these at interview, and you don’t want to be left high and dry!
  • Language: when going through a draft of your personal statement, check the language that you’re using relays your passion for your subject. Tutors want to teach someone who they can engage with, and showing your passion for their subject in your personal statement is a great way to do this. The language you use should be appropriate for the personal statement – formal and focused on academics, but with your personality shining through.
  • The little details: although it seems obvious, sometimes it’s the little details which can trip people up. Have you spell-checked your personal statement? Have you read it through to check for grammar? A good way to do this is to print it out and go through it manually rather than on a computer – you will surprised by how many errors you miss by reading off the computer screen! Presentation is everything, and if tutors see simple errors like these, they will have little time for the content of the personal statement. Even if what you’ve said is amazing, if you’ve said it poorly they will lose interest.
  • Extra information: always keep in mind that your personal statement will be going to all of your universities – so don’t wax lyrical about how much you want to go to Oxbridge! There will be plenty of room for this at the other stages of the application process, and your time would be better spent focusing on your academic prowess.


If you need any more information about personal statements, register at our website to see our advice on writing your personal statement.

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Our Oxbridge-graduate consultants are available between 9.00 am – 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday, with additional evening availability when requested.

Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR

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